How Sweden shut down the USWNT in their Olympic opener

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The Athletic 21 July, 2021 - 11:29am 8 views

Is the US women's soccer team out of the Olympics?

Team USA has lost one of its first events at the 2020 Olympics after the U.S. women's soccer team was beaten 3-0 by old rivals Sweden on day one of the beleaguered games in Tokyo. ForbesTeam USA: Sweden Defeats U.S. Women’s Soccer Team In Opening Tokyo Olympics Game

Is softball in the Olympics?

Olympic softball has, unfortunately, been an on-again-off-again event since first being introduced in 1996, with the last two Games not hosting any softball, much to the chagrin of Team USA and the rest of the softball-starved world. ... Here's what you need to know about the 2021 Olympic softball tournament. Sporting NewsOlympic softball, explained: How group play, standings work in 2021 tournament format

When was the last time softball was in the Olympics?

Softball made its long-awaited return to the Olympic stage at Tokyo in 2021. After making history as the first women-only Olympic sport in 1996, softball was featured in the Games until 2008. nbcchicago.comHow to Watch Team USA Women's Softball at Tokyo Olympics

Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT) July 21, 2021

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Sweden 3 - 0 USA | Tokyo 2020 | Highlights | July 21, 2021

Korner Kickerz 21 July, 2021 - 09:01pm

Women can't match men's pay, even if they're Olympic athletes on the national soccer team

USA TODAY 21 July, 2021 - 09:01pm

The players of the women’s national team are a source of national pride, and wage discrimination against them has become a source of national outrage.

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President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted Megan Rapinoe and members of the U.S. women's national soccer team to recognize "Equal Pay Day." USA TODAY

As women, mothers and members of Congress, we are dedicated to achieving equal pay for equal work for people of all genders. But even our world-class female athletes are getting shortchanged. We refuse to let this injustice stand. 

As the U.S. women’s national soccer team begins its fight for the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, we are fighting for the team in Congress by introducing a resolution calling for these athletes to be paid equally to their male counterparts. 

Since 1991, the women’s national team has been the most successful international soccer team in the world, securing four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals. Given their remarkable success, the stars of our national soccer team should be among the best-compensated athletes in the world. Disgracefully, this is not the case.

Despite vastly outperforming their male counterparts, by one measure, players on the women’s national team bring home only 89 cents for every dollar paid to men, and earn far less in prize money and bonuses for the wins they keep racking up for our country.

While the achievements of the women’s national team have been extraordinary, their workplace struggles – for equal pay for equal work, child care and paid leave – are commonplace for women across the country.

Women's median weekly earnings amount to 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. The gender pay gap is even worse for many women of color. For every dollar paid to white men, median pay for Latinas is just 55 cents. It's 60 cents for Native American women, 63 cents for Black women and as little as 52 cents, with an average of 85 cents, for Asian American and Pacific Islander women. 

A lifetime of lower wages has cascading consequences for women, who end up with fewer assets, more debt and less money saved for retirement than men.

The pay gap for the women’s national team has nothing to do with the team’s performance. The women’s national team has amassed more viewers, sold more tickets and generated more revenue for the U.S. Soccer Federation than the men’s team.

They have made our country proud time and time again – largely because of them, soccer is now on track to become America’s third most popular spectator sport.

The players of the women’s national team are a source of national pride, and wage discrimination against them has become a source of national outrage. That is why, when the women’s team won the World Cup in 2019, crowds chanted “Equal Pay” along with “USA.” 

The experience of these players underscores an inescapable fact: Even the most successful and highly visible women cannot overcome the gender wage gap. March 24, marked Women’s Equal Pay Day – which signals how far into the new year the average woman must work to earn as much as the average man in the previous year.

On that day, soccer star Megan Rapinoe testified powerfully before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in support of equal pay: “There is no level of status, and there's no accomplishment or power that will protect you from the clutches of inequality. One cannot simply outperform inequality or be excellent enough to escape discrimination of any kind.” 

The historic success of the women’s national team proves what is possible when we change our laws to foster rather than limit women’s potential. Past reforms like Title IX were crucial to making more opportunities available for women to excel in sports, but we must do more. In addition to fighting for equal pay, we are committed to investing in public child care and ensuring access to paid family leave. These are crucial steps to level the playing field and remove longstanding barriers so that all women can excel in the workplace.

We are introducing this resolution because everyone, regardless of their gender, deserves fair and equal compensation for their work. Players on the women’s national team proudly represent our nation on the world’s stage. They are role models for girls and women everywhere. Not only because they fight for victory on the field, but also because they fight for equality off the field. 

So while the world watches the U.S. women’s national team compete at the Tokyo Games, it is our duty to ensure they earn their most important and consequential victory yet – equal pay here at home.

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Megan Rapinoe after USWNT loss in Tokyo Olympics: 'No time to dwell'

ESPN 21 July, 2021 - 09:01pm

Megan Rapinoe said the United States women's national team must move on quickly after a surprising 3-0 loss to Sweden in its Olympic Games opener on Wednesday.

The USWNT saw a 44-match unbeaten record end in humbling style as the tournament favorite and world No. 1-ranked side was undone by two Stina Blackstenius goals and one from Lina Hurtig.

With four gold medals, the United States has more than any other nation and is vying to become the first team to win Olympic gold following a World Cup title.

To do that, though, the team must move on quickly after the loss to Peter Gerhardsson's side. Speaking after the match, Rapinoe said: "We got our asses kicked, didn't we? ... I thought we were a little tight, a little nervous, just doing dumb stuff.

"There's no time to dwell and think about if Sweden is living in our heads or not. We've got another game in three days."

Rapinoe, who came on in the 64th minute with the score 2-0, added: "Did we expect this result tonight? No.

"It's frustrating, and it's frustrating that it's Sweden. They found a lot of space on us. I don't even know how many goals we have given up this whole year. I don't remember the last time we gave up a goal. So to give up three is not great."

Sweden, ranked No. 5, has been the U.S. team's nemesis of sorts in recent years. The Swedes bounced the Americans from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in the quarterfinals, their earliest U.S. Olympic exit ever, by making a defensive stand.

In April, Sweden played the United States to a 1-1 draw in Stockholm, which snapped a winning streak dating back to January 2019 when the Americans lost to France in the runup to the World Cup. It was the U.S. team's only draw this year.

"It's not going to be easy. We've got to get positive results in the next two games, but the fact there is still a chance [means] I know this team is not going to give up."

Sweden leads Group G heading into Saturday's game against Australia in Saitama, while the United States faces New Zealand. The top two teams in the group advance to the knockout round.

"We have very brave players and very good leaders," Gerhardsson said. "Brave attitude to win the ball and transition so well. Yeah, I'm satisfied."

In 2008, the United States also lost its first match (2-0 to Norway), but went on to win the gold medal.

"I think ultimately as an athlete you go through ups and downs, and this is a hard result, but it's the nature of a tough tournament," U.S. forward Christen Press said. "It wasn't going to be easy. We weren't going to breeze through six games no matter what. So here we are."

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